European drink-drive operation results show most drivers are obeying the rules

Published Fri, 19/07/2019 - 06:00

  • One in 64 drivers tested was over the limit in this year’s operation, compared with one in 59 in 2013
  • 15,724 alcohol offences from 1,010,000 breath tests in 26 countries
  • 4,760 drug offences recorded
  • 28 TISPOL member countries across Europe took part 
  • More than 750 other crimes (drug possession, firearms, human trafficking, stolen goods) also detected during alcohol tests


A RECENTdrink-drive enforcement operation saw police conduct 1,010,000 roadside breath tests for alcohol, of which 15,724 were positive. Motorists were also checked for drugs in the operation, and 4,760 offences were detected. The operation was organised by the European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL) in 26 countries between 3 and 9 June. 

TISPOL President Volker Orben said: “We continue to enforce drink-drive law robustly across Europe because too many innocent people are still dying as a result of a drink-driver’s selfish actions.

“It is unacceptable that, in spite of extensive publicity and education, some people are still willing to take a risk by driving after consuming alcohol. However, we take encouragement from the growing proportion of people who are not prepared to take this risk. 

“Officers across Europe will continue to target drink-drivers all year round, so if you choose to take a risk by driving after drinking alcohol, then we will find you and bring you to justice because we will not tolerate the risk you pose to yourself and to other innocent road users who may be in your way.”

This year’s result shows 15,724 offences from 1,010,000 breath tests; around one in every 64 drivers tested. This represents a reduction on figures from, 2015, where similar numbers of tests showed a ratio of one in 66. However,2013 figures show 14,557 offences from 869,473 breath tests, a ratio of approximately one in 59 drivers tested.

Stopping drivers to check for alcohol and drug offences also provides police officers with the opportunity to make other appropriate safety and security checks. Approximately 230 people were prosecuted for illegal stays, there wereb 524 drug seizures, 126 weapon seizures and 92 property offences were recorded. In all, 384 wanted persons were identified. In addition, 783 other crimes were discovered and fines were issued for other traffic violations.